A nine-hectare (ha) inexperienced cowl, which is across the measurement of South Mumbai’s Oval Maidan, has been worn out over the previous decade from a piece of the Thane creek within the densely populated Mumbai Metropolitan Area (MMR).
A comparative decadal examine, utilizing satellite tv for pc pictures, carried out between April 2010 and April 2020 for the Kolshet creek space, adjoining to Kolshet village and Balkum pipeline, positioned on Vasai creek, which meets Ulhas river and is part of the Thane creek, has revealed a lack of 9.43 ha inexperienced cowl.
The authorities, who carried out the examine, have attributed the inexperienced cowl loss to mess dumping, encroachments, dumping of plastic and dangerous waste.
The lack of mangroves, together with different vegetation, rings alarm bells for Thane, together with flooding issues, based on Muse Basis, an environmental group that launched the report on Thursday.
The group submitted their findings to Maharashtra authorities’s mangrove cell and Bombay excessive court docket (HC)-appointed mangroves conservation committee.
Stalin D, a member of the HC-appointed committee, mentioned the matter could be taken up throughout its subsequent assembly.
The report, which referred to as for restoring the inexperienced patch, highlighted the altered land use and land cowl adjustments and raised issues over the ecological injury. It recognized the alarming scale of encroachments and particles dumping on the positioning with photographic proof.
“These mangroves are extraordinarily essential to Thane because of present weather conditions and frequent flooding. Prior to now, Kolshet had reported main flooding due to a swollen Thane creek,” mentioned Nishant Bangera, founder, Muse Basis.
The report identified cases of particles being lined by mud and letting weeds develop in a bid to evade surveillance of authorities.
The stretch is roofed with waste as a result of heaps of plastic from Thane metropolis are routinely washed by way of the streams.
“The particles additionally consists of building and biomedical waste, damaged liquor bottles and different hazardous waste supplies. Encroachments, starting from shanties to recycling crops, are additionally threatening the native biodiversity,” mentioned Bangera.
He identified that the encroachments elevated in the course of the current coronavirus illness (Covid-19)-induced lockdown restrictions.
In September 2018, Bombay HC had banned mangrove destruction alongside the Maharashtra shoreline and stopped any building inside 50 metres from the timber. “We are going to examine the submissions made within the report. Nonetheless, nearly all of Thane mangrove patches, apart from Bhiwandi (600 ha), falls below the income division or the Thane Municipal Company’s (TMC) jurisdiction. It must be handed over to us for higher safety,” mentioned Virendra Tiwari, further principal chief conservator of forests (APCCF) (mangrove cell).
Rohit Joshi, a member of the Thane district wetland committee, mentioned the positioning was slated to be developed by TMC below its waterfront challenge.
Joshi had filed a petition earlier than the HC in opposition to the challenge however the court docket had rejected his submission final September. “Growth work in low-lying areas, together with Kolshet, close to the creek has resulted in submergence throughout heavy rains inflicting nice danger to each human lives and properties. This yr, too, these websites have been flooded once more because of random ecological destruction,” mentioned Joshi.
A TMC government engineer mentioned the waterfront challenge was the answer to alleged environmentally damaging actions on the web site. “We’ve deliberate the waterfront, unfold over 2.5 ha at Kolshet, together with seven different such places in Thane on authorities land for native residents to make use of open areas similar to mangrove path, small promenades, playgrounds, amongst different amenities. At the least 50% of the realm can have recent mangrove plantations. We are going to make sure that encroachments and particles dumping are stopped forthwith to make method for these initiatives,” he added.